Tea-Tree & Paperbark Wet Scrub and Forest

Tea-tree vegetationTea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest can regenerate without any large scale disturbance such as fire. Tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest are dominated by manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), soft-fruited tea-tree (Leptospermum glaucescens), shiny tea-tree (Leptospermum nitidum), woolly tea-tree (Leptospermum lanigerum), swamp paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia), and scented paperbark (Melaleuca squarrosa); and usually has an understorey of rainforest species. In northern Tasmania and on the Bass Strait islands dense forests dominated by swamp paperbark are widespread.

Where to see tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest

There are large areas of tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest on the west coast, particularly where mining settlements have been associated with the burning of rainforest. They can also be seen in the north west of the state in some of the swampy flats between Smithton and Marrawah. On King Island magnificent swamp paperbark forests can be seen in the Lavinia Nature Reserve and at The Nook. The nature trail at Bakers Beach in the Asbestos Range National Park is also a good place to see paperbark wet scrub.

Biodiversity values of tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest

Tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest is extremely well reserved.

Refer to Threatened Species page for more information.

Management issues in tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest

Tea-tree vegetation.The main management issue for tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest is the exclusion of fire. While tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest may, in some situations, require an occasional fire to maintain their dominance, unplanned frequent fires are likely to prevent them becoming an extensive feature of the landscape.

While tea-tree and paperbark wet scrub and forest often appear over-mature or in need of a good 'clean out' their dense nature is just a stage in their development. Over time these forests will thin out, the eucalypts will become more dominant, and the understorey will become more diverse. Burning or clearing to encourage regeneration will merely start the developmental cycle all over again.

The management recommendations for these vegetation types are:
  • exclude fire
  • control woody weeds

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